Three years ago today, I was feeling like warmed over hell. My headache had lasted for two weeks and I was sure that I would be walking around with a throbbing brain for the rest of my life. My blood pressure was 180/110 that morning, but by the time I got to the doctor’s office, it was up to 188/118. I was only 35 weeks into my pregnancy, a whole five weeks before my due date, but my body was ready to be done. Eric and I had decided long before that this baby would be our last, as the pregnancy had been exponentially worse than the previous two, which were rough in their own right.
I got the words I was expecting from my obstetrician.
“We’re going to send you in for your c-section,” she reported.
I was relieved. Relieved and scared. I knew my baby was under stress and would be safer outside the womb, but it was too soon. I knew what this meant. We would be in for another stint with the neonatal intensive care unit. My oldest had spent time in the NICU with breathing problems. He had been born three weeks early on his own accord and couldn’t breathe well on his own. There was almost no chance that this baby, the one we had decided to name Roman Comiskey, would escape his brother’s fate.
Eric and I welcomed Roman to the world in an operating room. I was practiced at delivering through an incision. My previous two births had been c-sections and from the beginning, I knew that this last one would be the same. My baby was big for his gestational age at 6 pounds, 13 ounces. Still he had breathing difficulties and was whisked away to the NICU before I was sewn up.
I was immediately put on magnesium sulfate to help bring my blood pressure down and prevent seizures. The stuff is the devil. I don’t remember much of the next twenty four hours, except that I was very hot and incoherent. I remember some episodes of babbling nonsense, and that’s it. Finally, I was allowed to get up out of bed and be wheeled up to the NICU. Roman was on the CPAP and had wires hooked to his tiny body. I had flashbacks to Tycen’s stay in the NICU. It actually comforted me, knowing that it all turned out okay with Tycen. After a little extra care, Roman was going to be fine.
Finally, we got word from the doctors that we could take our baby home. Tycen and Tanis were excited to welcome their new brother home and we were elated to forever be done with the NICU. We packed Roman up in his Indianapolis Colts car seat, dressed him in the coming home outfit I had knitted for him, and bid Sparrow Hospital a hasty goodbye.
There were no early indications of autism in Roman, as I’ve mentioned before. He regressed. Nothing in his development pointed to anything being abnormal. He was alert to the world around him and even started smiling early. We never had a clue that autism would affect him until well after his first birthday and closer to his second. We had a perfect baby boy, and to be honest, he’s still perfect. Happy birthday Roman Comiskey!